Ici dans l’hémisphère nord,
doucement la tristesse du mort
se glisse au bord de l’eau grise,
où l’église se trouve
perdue en plein brouillard.
L’automne est la saison des récoltes,
du vin et des pommes de terre, mais aussi
des couleurs foncées, sombres, oui, ici
je me souviens seulement
la douleur et le noir.
This is my first attempt to do a French poem, excussez moi already for mistakes that are bound to have happened and thank you for suggestions that might improve the above 🙂
Translated in English:
Here in the Northern hemisphere
the sadness of death
softly slides near the water,
where the church finds itself
lost in dense mist.
Autumn is the season of harvests,
of wine and potatoes, but also
of dark, dreary colours, yes, here
I only recall
the pain and the black.
Hier op het noordelijk halfrond
sluipt de triestheid van de dood
zachtjes tot aan het water
waar de kerk zichzelf verliest
in dichte mist.
Herfst is het seizoen van oogsten,
van wijn en aardappels maar ook
van donkere, sombere tinten, ja, hier
herinner ik me enkel
de pijn en het zwart.
I am surprised my body
made these other bodies
so far with no apparent serious mistakes;
while I am physically rather stupid, incapable
for instance of understanding electricity;
while I have no idea, none whatsoever, of the
complexities of their construction.
I couldn’t tell you how it’s done,
yet as a miracle it happens they do function,
they can move and talk and learn and work,
befriend and love an other. Laugh and cry,
while I am clumsy like an ox.
I am surprised each time I think
my body made me mother.
Finding without searching,
a few old books you left me
in which you dried
the flowers that we picked.
They died between the pages,
every fragile petal
becoming dust and rot,
as I find that you loved me,
that you have loved me not.
Your mother smiled with charming hate each time she let me in.
She said that writing stories was lying and a sin,
this after I had told her
I wrote fiction.
At the end of every meal,
she would pick someone from her clan
to read the bible. I’m glad to say
that it was never me.
After the meal, during prayers
I wondered where I would begin to peel
the paper layers off the wall
that stood between us.
I should commence above the dark brown clock
that hammered headaches every quarter of the hour,
night and day.
I tried to understand
the after dinner conversation
but there wasn’t any.
We had to sleep apart, me in your room, you in the attic,
but you came back at nights, our breathing kept on hold
while we could hear the others
On Sundays we would wait until they went to church
so we could make belated love.
One day the minister was ill. Your family surprised us
returning home too early.
But then they were surprised as well
to find us naked in the kitchen, erected
in the early morning light.
You spilled the salt and I looked back and laughed.
And every Monday crows would tell me
that I did not belong and should go home
and every Monday they were right.
They sat with innocent carelessness
on the thin designer’s chairs
that in their elegant invisibility
made the chatting ladies seem
two floating female buddhas but with hats,
who by some religious miracle
were above the rules of gravity,
until the weight of one of them
caused a break in their almighty faith,
hence showing the designers mean depravity.
They keep pushing beds with people
into rooms they never come out again
and a baby is crying.
This is the house where life meets death,
and where bright Disney balloons
fill the sadness in the Central Hall.
To die and the last thing you see
is a waving Mickey Mouse. Hallo Saint Peter.
I met Rumi on the ferry,
he was seasick all the time.
We hadn’t left Harlingen Harbour
when he started to look pale
and he asked me –
I mean: he, Rumi, asked me! –
for some wisdom.
I told him to get a bit of fresh air on the deck.
“Fresh air is the miracle of transparency,” he mumbled.
He looked outside, it was raining.
“Then again, perhaps not.”
He wasn’t quite himself maybe.
all our ancestors
no matter what profession
once they were seamen
I rather heard nothing than beat,
rather the sea than a band,
rather the day crack in silence
than with rather loud noise from the street.
Knackered and rather at ends,
I rather saw bed as in sleep,
rather a rest than to dream an illusion
rather be sure than to seem in confusion.
But all this has changed, rather by you,
that I rather listen to music at times,
rather hear people about than hear none,
that I rather feel life coming through.
I rather dream on while I can,
I rather live fantasized lives,
I’m rather in doubt what to do,
rather leaving decisions to you.
a certain being
I try to adjust less,
without future nuisance.
adjust to a nuisance
I, being less,
try without certain future.
certain less to being
I try, adjust without future.
being a nuisance,
I try, adjust to future.
without being certain
I try to adjust less.
without being a nuisance
I try to adjust.
I try a certain future,
adjust to being less
I try less. adjust being
to a certain future
less I try to adjust
without being a certain nuisance:
to being less nuisance
I try, adjust
without a certain future.
without a try being certain,
I adjust less
to future nuisance
Just playing a bit, I think there must be a lot more possible combinations with these eleven words 🙂